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Galapagos Islands - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: The Galapagos is an incredible destination, so no matter which islands or visitor sites you see, you will be impressed by the abundance of wildlife and unique landscapes. In general, we encourage people not to worry about the specific islands they are visiting unless they have a certain species that they must see, such as penguins or albatross. However, we realize that this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so if you want to know more, please look here, or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator for more details.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! While cruise itineraries are set by the Galapagos National Park, we can add extra days in the Galapagos or extensions in mainland Ecuador. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator for recommendations.
Q: When is the best time to go to the Galapagos? 
A: With abundant wildlife and pleasant weather year-round, there isn’t a bad time to go to the Galapagos. You can find a wider selection of trip options by avoiding the winter holidays, spring break and the summer months when most people are free to travel and plan vacations.
Q: What is the weather like in the Galapagos?
A: The Galapagos has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to high 80s throughout the year. There are two seasons caused by different prevailing ocean currents. The warmer, wetter season runs from December to May, and a cooler, dryer season takes over from June – November. Even in the wet season, rain is generally confined to brief afternoon showers and shouldn’t disrupt your trip. You can find more information about what to expect under the ‘Weather’ tab on each Galapagos trip.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to the Galapagos? 
A: While your days in the islands are full, Galapagos cruises are not particularly strenuous. As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and are able to navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy the Galapagos. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages for more information.
Q: How much time do I need to visit the Galapagos?
A: Due to the amount time it takes to get to the Galapagos, we recommend our travelers plan for at least five days in the islands, with eight days being ideal. Cruises run from four to eight days in length with extended 15-day cruises available for travelers who would like to see the entire archipelago. You must arrive in Ecuador at least one day prior to your cruise in order to catch your Galapagos flight.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: The Galapagos Islands are relatively busy year-round and cruises frequently sell out. As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. For the best selection of cruises, plan at least six to nine months in advance, and a year or more ahead  if you plan to travel over the Christmas holiday season or May through July.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies. Please note that each cruise has its own cancellation policy in addition to our own. This will be detailed in your itinerary.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: All guides on Galapagos cruises are freelance and hired directly by the vessels. Guides on any of the cruises we offer are  experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related area. Cruises that are mid-range or above will have the best guides possible. Our more economic options also have great guides, but they may have a little less experience, or basic English skills. Please note, many of the best guides in the Galapagos now choose to skip formal certification process that define the level of each guide because of the high costs and the time it demands. Because of this, the designations of Level I, II, III are no longer an accurate indicator of the quality of your guide.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We offer a range of accommodation levels in the Galapagos. Our most economical cruise options are similar to a three-star hotel. The cabins may be small and basic, but the vessels are still clean and comfortable. Our mid-range cruises are like a four-star hotel with larger cabins, generally with larger windows and more common spaces throughout the vessel. Luxury cruises are similar to a five star hotel. These come with much larger cabins and extra amenities such as private balconies. Hotel accommodations in mainland Ecuador are set to match the cruise level that you book.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights, including Galapagos flights, are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We include your Galapagos airfare in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Your tour size depends on the size of the vessel you choose. Cruises in the Galapagos carry between 12 and 100 passengers, but the majority of the vessels we offer accommodate 16 passengers. There are never more than 16 passengers to one naturalist guide. All Quito services and additional tours are private with a guide and vehicle just for your group.
Q: What are the benefits of a cruise over a land-based itinerary?
A: Both options allow for great wildlife viewing opportunities on land and underwater, and a chance to see a variety of landscapes. Live-aboard cruises allow you to visit the uninhabited outlying islands, which land tours don’t visit, and to see more islands throughout your trip.
Q: Can I snorkel, kayak or scuba dive during my cruise?
A: Snorkeling will be included almost every day on all Galapagos cruises. Kayaking is only permitted in certain areas, as mandated by the Galapagos National Park. Many cruises have kayaks on board, but not all do. Be sure to check with your Adventure Travel Coordinator if this is a priority for you. Diving is only available on live-aboard, dive-intensive cruises. If you would like to add scuba diving to a naturalist cruise, we can add on land-based dive tours before or afterwards.
Q: What if I get seasick?
A: Most people worry about motion sickness beforehand and then are fine once on the trip. However, you are on a boat and will feel some motion regardless of which type of vessel you are on. We recommend that all passengers who are prone to motion sickness consult their doctors to obtain preventative medication best suited to their individual needs. As long as you are prepared, you will be fine.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.